Commercial Bank of Ceylon: ComBank’s “Dirishakthi” program helps tea farmers in Bandarawela and Deniyaya

Ceylon Commercial Bank provided financial and technical support to 532 tea farmers attached to four tea companies in Bandarawela and Deniyaya under the latest Dirishakthi value chain development programme.

Designed to improve the efficiency and sustainability of rural value chains, this recent initiative has focused on introducing new technological developments that can increase the efficiency and productivity of the tea industry in these regions and promote the financial inclusion of smallholder farmers in order to encourage their entrepreneurial spirit. , the Bank said.

In addition, the Bandarawela and Deniyaya branches of the Bank, along with their corresponding Agriculture and Microfinance Units (AMFU) and the Development Credit Department (DCD) of the Bank donated four earth drilling to selected tea growing companies in these regions.

Among the beneficiaries of this equipment is the company PARCIC Organic Tea in Deniyaya. PARCIC members grow tea plants with organic fertilizers made by the Society. Subsequently, the harvest of green leaves is supplied to the Ahinsa tea factory in Morawaka, owned by Professor Piyasena Abeygunawardena, a pioneer in the local organic tea industry.

Addressing the audience at the presentation ceremony held at the Kiriweldola Temple in Deniyaya, the Principal Director of the Commercial Bank – Development Credit Department, Mr. Malika De Silva highlighted the products and services offered by the Bank for the financial inclusion of unbanked and underbanked communities in rural and semi-urban areas, and stressed that the Bank is ready to extend its support to tea companies throughout the country. The event was also attended by Mr. Harshana Liyanagunawardene, the Deniyaya Branch Manager of the Bank, Bank officials and officers of the company.

The Bank’s Dirishakthi Value Chain Development Program has also benefited traditional rice producers and farmers in Kokkadichcholai, Batticaloa, the Mullaitivu Livestock Breeders Cooperative Society dairy value chain and a group of dairy farmers in Mulliyawalai .

The Commercial Bank’s Deputy Managing Director for SMEs, Mr. S Ganeshan, said that the Bank’s Dirishakthi Value Chain Development Program was launched to support microentrepreneurs with a holistic intervention encompassing financing and that benefit not only individual borrowers but all participants in their value chains to drive success and growth from the bottom up. Its in-kind grant initiative was introduced to support identified value chains to improve their efficiency and sustainability while overcoming challenges faced by rural value chains.

Under this program, the Bank identifies all participants in a value chain with the help of existing clients or community-based organizations (CBOs), provides financial services by reaching out to vulnerable community actors such as women entrepreneurs and low-income people via the coordinators of its Agriculture and Micro Finance Units who approach these members to provide them with personalized support. They identify bottlenecks that impede value chain efficiency and address cash flow and capacity issues, provide remittance facilities to remit sales proceeds and pay suppliers through the formal banking sector, and improve the technical knowledge and entrepreneurial skills of members of the value chain with the objective of improving the quality of the products and services they offer.

The first 100% carbon neutral bank in Sri Lanka, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the world’s top 1000 banks and the only Sri Lankan bank to be listed for 11 consecutive years, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches and 938 machines. machines in Sri Lanka. Commercial Bank is Sri Lanka’s largest SME sector lender and is a leader in digital innovation in the country’s banking industry. The Bank’s overseas operations include Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where he owns a microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I bank with majority ownership.

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